What’ll it be today? What am I going to eat? When am I going to eat? How am I going to eat?
To live with me is to, periodically, listen to my announcement of which nutritional and/or behavioral hack I have decided to use in my ongoing task of coping with my eating disorder and broken metabolism. To live with me is to notice, at some point, that I’m no longer doing the thing I announced to you a day or week or month ago. To live with me is to listen patiently as, when I get tired enough of things not going well with my eating, I announce my new plan.
I hate it. I despise the fact that I can’t settle on one nice, sensible way of eating and stick to it. Even if it has to be a weird way, I wish I could just pick one and stick with it. There are common threads–for example, being low on carbs is a thing during all but the most fuck-it phases because of my blood sugar issues–but a lot of other things vary.
How low-carb are we talking here? Strict, or more lenient? Am I practicing intermittent fasting? If I am, how extreme? How am I addressing the fact that my body’s satiety signals are pretty much broken, and I therefore need some kind of attention to portion control? Am I using behavioral rules or techniques, such as don’t-read-at-the-table, to help with emotional or mindless eating?
It varies. It varies because I vary. Sometimes I’m capable of certain things, and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes, when things get bad in other ways, being sloppy with food ends up being the least destructive way for me to act out. And, on one level, I’m ok with that. I’m even ok with the fact that all my back-and-forth efforts usually do no more than maintain my weight, because I know that if I weren’t doing my best, I’d be back up at my top weight of nearly 100 pounds above where I am now.
But I hate the inconsistency. I hate the judgment from people who don’t see why I can’t stop the merry-go-round and just eat like a normal person. And, of course, I hate that I can’t just eat like a normal person. Even other people in recovery from eating disorders sometimes judge me for my chaotic relationship with food–surely, if I were doing the emotional work, I wouldn’t flit back and forth like this. I see their point…but it’s the best I can do.
It’s almost as if I have bipolar disorder or something. Oh, wait, I do.